NPR logo Amid 'Talk Talk Talk,' a Call to Action

Amid 'Talk Talk Talk,' a Call to Action

Talk Talk Talk

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Afrobeat singer Wunmi takes on leaders who mull over global issues when they could be solving them. Antonie Tempe hide caption

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Antonie Tempe

Monday's Pick

  • Song: "Talk Talk Talk"
  • Artist: Wunmi
  • CD: A.L.A.
  • Genre: Afrobeat

The aphorism "Action speaks louder than words" comes across loud and clear on Wunmi's pulsating "Talk Talk Talk," on which the singer takes on world leaders who mull over global issues when they could be solving them. Picking up on the Afrobeat legacy of her Nigerian heritage while condensing the groove to concise proportions, Wunmi juxtaposes the almost nursery-rhyme-like chorus ("Talk, talk, talk / Yap, yap, yap") with biting verses like "Talk we use to express our feelings / Overuse of talk is numbing all emotions."

Perhaps the best-known female singer in today's Afrobeat scene, Wunmi opts not to rely too heavily on slogans or platitudes, instead revealing a flair for direct, thoughtful songwriting that does more than merely bemoan problems. After more than 10 years in underground electronica — she first appeared in Soul II Soul's video for "Keep on Movin'" as a dancer, then lent her commanding vocals to singles produced by the likes of Masters at Work, Osulande and Truby Trio — Wunmi sounds primed to establish herself as an authoritative solo artist in her own right.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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